The five players to watch at the Scottish Open

A major title will not be up for grabs – it comes a week later at the British Open – but the Genesis Scottish Open, which starts on Thursday at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick, should generate plenty of interest given the caliber of contenders they are playing.

Eight of the top 10 players in the world rankings, including No. 1 Scotty Scheffler, No. 3 Rory McIlroy, and No. 4 Patrick Cantlay, will be on the court. And Xander Schavelli, who won by stroke in 2022, will try to defend his crown.

Here are five more people you should keep an eye on.

Tommy Fleetwood

Overshadowed by the last-round battle at last month’s US Open at Los Angeles Country Club between eventual champion Windham Clarke and McIlroy, McIlroy was the seven-under 63 fired by Tommy on Sunday. Fleetwood32 years old, who has become The first player to score this score twice in the conquest. Another 63 players came in 2018 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, Long Island.

However, Fleetwood, now ranked No. 22, has failed on both occasions to win the title, and in over 100 starts he has yet to claim a championship on the PGA Tour. He came very close the week before the US Open, losing in a playoff to Nick Taylor of Canada at the RBC Canadian Open. In May, he tied for fifth in the Wells Fargo Championship.

A twice member of Team Europe in the Ryder Cup, Fleetwood had its moments at the Scottish Open, finishing second in 2020 and in a tie for fourth last year.

Justin Thomas

It looks like he tied for ninth in the Travelers’ Championship last month, his first top-10 finish since March. Thomasone of the game’s best players, is back on track.

or not.

A week later, he missed the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

Thomas, who had fallen to world No. 20, struggled badly in the second round of the US Open. He hit just 5 fairways on his way to shooting 11-over-81, missing the cut by 12 batters.

“It’s a very humiliating and embarrassing shot like that on a golf course that I really, really liked,” he said.

Thomas, 30, who won the 2022 PGA Championship, has also performed poorly in other majors this year. He missed the Masters cut and tied for 65th on the PGA

With the British Open a week away, this will be the time for him to get his old form back.

Ricky Fowler

Speaking of old form, with his win two weeks ago at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, his first in four years, the hunter, 34, officially back.

It was hardly surprising given how well Fowler, one of the tour’s most popular players, has done in recent months. He has finished 15th or better in nine of his 11 tournaments since mid-March.

At the US Open, he started with 62- Ibtisam and tied for the lead after three rounds. Although he faded in the final round with a score of 75 to tie for fifth, he played well the following week in the Travelers’ Championship, tied for 13th. In the third round, Fowler, seeded No. 21 after starting the year in No. 103, flirted with No. 59 Before shooting 60. A week later came the victory in Michigan.

Much was expected of Oklahoma State University superstar Fowler when he turned pro in 2009, and he did not disappoint. In 2014, he finished in the top five in each of the four majors. In 2015, he won the Players Championship.

Windham Clark

It wasn’t long ago that casual golf fans were saying to themselves: Windham who?

The US Open changed that, by giving ClarkRanked No. 11 in the world Fame Surprise.

The question is, was his performance a fluke — other, lesser-known players have taken home major slams only to have them disappear shortly thereafter — or will Clarke, 29, be a force on tour?

Clark has his first win at the Wells Fargo Classic of the year and has the game to win more tournaments, including the Grand Slam. He hit it wide, and how he was able to fend off McIlroy down the stretch at the Los Angeles Open was something to watch.

“It’s been a whirlwind few weeks and a great season so far, all together in LA a few weeks ago,” Clark said. “I’m looking forward to continuing things over the summer.”

Victor Hofland

In three of the past four Grand Slams, Hovland, the No. 5 seed, was in the chase. Sooner or later, he is bound to break through.

Hovland, who would be the first man from Norway to win a major tournament, was the co-leader with McIlroy heading into the final round of last year’s British Open. He fumbled with a 74 to finish tied for fourth.

At this year’s Masters, he opened with a 65, and although he had his troubles in the next two rounds, it was still only three to get back to the final round. As for the second consecutive major, he closed with a 74 to finish tied for seventh, failing to make a birdie until the 13th hole. A month later, he tied for second at the PGA Championship, behind the winner, Brooks Koepka.

In June, Hovland, 25, scored his fourth win on tour and biggest to date, the Memorial Tournament, in a playoff over Denny McCarthy. Hovland knocked out 30 feet in the 17th and saved the par game from five feet in the 18th in regulation. In the playoff game, he made seven goals to win.